Camping Recipes: One Pot Pesto Pasta

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One Pot Pesto Pasta with Bacon
This bright and fresh one pot pasta combines savory bacon, zesty pesto, and crunchy pine nuts. It’s a wonderful way to get into the spirit of springtime!

As with all one pot pasta, the key is sequencing. If you order the steps properly, you can use the same pot (or in this case a skillet) to prepare the entire meal start to finish. This way everything is ready at the same time and you have fewer pots and pans to clean.

We start by frying up some bacon. As it cooks, it renders out fat which we will use for the next step. Once the bacon is done, remove it and then add in the zucchini and cherry tomatoes. Sautéing in the rendered bacon fat not only adds a ton of flavor but uses something (the grease) that would otherwise need to be cleaned.

When the veggies are browned and feeling soft, take them out. Now you can add your pasta right into the hot skillet along with a few cups of water. You’re looking to barely cover all the pasta in water. As the pasta cooks, the water starts to evaporate. The goal is to have the pasta finish cooking just as the water is nearly – but not entirely – gone. The little water that’s left is SUPER starchy and will help tremendously when making your sauce.

At this point, you can add the pesto into the skillet and stir thoroughly. This forms an emulsion between the pesto (oil, garlic, basil) and the starchy water, resulting in a sauce that sticks to your pasta (instead of running off).

After that, mix your previous ingredients (bacon, zucchini, and tomatoes) back into the pasta to reheat. Top with parmesan and pine nuts and you’re done!

A quick and easy pasta dish with no water to strain, this one-pot pesto pasta is a perfect way to taste the spring season.

One Pot Pesto Pasta with Bacon
Serves 2 // 25 minutes

2 slices bacon
2 zucchinis, sliced
Handful of cherry tomatoes
2 cups pasta
¼ cup pesto
¼ cup parmesan
2 tablespoons pine nuts
Salt + pepper

Cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy, remove, chop, and set aside.
Add the zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and a pinch of salt to the skillet and saute until the zucchini is tender and beginning to brown in spots, 5-7 minutes. Remove the vegetables to a plate or bowl and set aside.
Add the pasta, 3 cups water, and ½ teaspoon salt to the skillet. Boil, stirring frequently, until the pasta is tender and most of the water has been absorbed – about 10 minutes (but check package directions). You can add more water if needed, or drain at the end if there is excess. Remove from heat.
Toss the pasta with the pesto, then toss in the vegetables, parmesan cheese, chopped bacon, and pine nuts. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Enjoy!

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